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Fertile Women Get A Warning, Football Fans Get Flu, U.S. Gets Mental Health Care: Weekly Roundup

Part of an infographic posted to the CDC website with new guidance on drinking for childbearing-age women.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Part of an infographic posted to the CDC website with new guidance on drinking for childbearing-age women.

We've got advice for staying healthy during the big game this Sunday - and no, it's not a bread-less chicken wing recipe. Also this week, the CDC says "put down that beer, young lady." And if worrying about your health is making you anxious or depressed, it may be getting easier to get help.   

The Mental Health Overhaul That's Already Underway

You know the drill by now. There's a mass shooting. Lawmakers call for more attention to mental health. Nothing happens. Right? Well actually, the federal government is in the early stages of implementing a $1 billion effort to bring mental health services to communities - an unfulfilled promise that goes back to JFK. Side Effects' Bram Sable-Smith reports


Health Insurers Hire "Recovery Coaches"

Insurance companies typically cover some inpatient substance use treatment and detox, but those are only short-term solutions. In Massachusetts, one insurer is assigning social workers to patients in long-term recovery, hoping the move will pay off by cutting down on relapses. WBUR has the story.   

The Pre-Mommy Wars

When the CDC announced Wednesday that women of childbearing age should avoid alcohol altogether unless they're using birth control, the agency must have expected a backlash. Sure enough, posts with headlines like "The CDC Can Rip the Wine Glass Out of My Childbearing-Aged Hand" were all over the internet the next day. The government is trying to protect babies from the terrible effects of alcohol exposure in the womb, but could they have gotten the message out without coming across as patronizing? We like Atlantic health reporters Ogla Khazan and Julie Beck's analytical response.

Super-Flu Sunday

According to a just-released study in the Journal of Health Economics, the death rate from the flu is higher in cities whose teams play in the Super Bowl. But even if your team isn't playing, you might want to wear a surgical mask to that Super Bowl party. The New York Times explains.